Committee recommends how Humboldt Broncos donations should be divided

A committee recommending how to distribute $15.2 million raised in a GoFundMe campaign after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash says more money should be given to the families of those who died than to those who were injured.

The advisory group, which is made up of five people, suggests that the court approve a total payout of $525,000 for each of the 16 families who lost a loved one in April when the junior hockey team’s bus and a semi collided in rural Saskatchewan. It is also recommending a total of $475,000 for each of the 13 surviving players.

Both payouts would include an interim payment of $50,000 already approved in August.

A committee report released Thursday, November 22, 2018 said the figures are based on discussions with the 29 families in the last few months.

“Each and every member of the advisory committee understands all too well that no amount of money will replace the loved ones lost by family members, partners and close friends,” said the report.

“They also understand that those survivors who may have been permanently disabled as a result of the accident would never choose money over their ability to live the life they once had.”

The majority of families said in their initial reports that the GoFundMe money should be divided and paid to each family in equal amounts.

“They gave different reasons for that opinion,” the committee wrote. “One reason was that it would be the easiest and simplest approach.”

Officials said two other themes emerged as they continued their discussions: that an equal amount was always intended, and that the 29 families had become friends since the crash and didn’t want the payouts to damage those relationships.

Three families said the “only choice” was splitting the money equally, but it became clear to the committee that not all of the families supported the idea.

“A number of families of those who lost their lives in the crash feel that they have been more adversely affected than the survivors and their families,” said the report.

In its analysis, the committee said it agrees that the fundraiser was intended to benefit all 29 people on the bus, but noted that dividing it equally among the families wouldn’t necessarily be fair and reasonable.

“The first most obvious difference is that 16 of the 29 passengers on the bus died, leaving their loved ones with profound grief, anguish and depression,” committee members said.

“The other 13 passengers have their life. Some of those 13 have their health. Their families can celebrate their survival and take pride in their accomplishments.

“There is a huge difference in emotional circumstances between most of the families who lost a loved one and most of the families who did not.”

The committee said the circumstances of the survivors are also far from equal, but the families of the four most severely injured players strongly believed all the survivors should be treated the same.

“They were simply not motivated by monetary concerns,” said the report. “One parent told us that what they needed was prayers, not money.”

The recommendations still need to be approved at a court appearance set for Wednesday.

Committee members included retired Saskatchewan justice Dennis Ball; Mark Chipman, chairman of the company that owns the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets; Olympic gold medallist Hayley Wickenheiser; Dr. Peter Spafford, who’s in charge of head and neck surgery at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine; and Kevin Cameron, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response.

All of the people involved in the crash will still be entitled to money from any insurance payouts. Some have also received help from individual fundraisers.

Life insurers welcome new rules that limit how much they can accept as deposits

TORONTO _ Two of Canada’s largest life insurance companies welcomed a Saskatchewan government decision that clarifies the rules for a type of insurance policy that’s been the focus of civil suits against them.

Manulife Financial Corp. and IA Financial Group say they expect substantial aspects of the litigation against them will be resolved as a result of the revised provincial regulations.

Institutional investors argued in a Saskatchewan court last month that there shouldn’t be limits on how much they can deposit into side accounts associated with a type of universal insurance policy offered in the 1990s.

Manulife and IA argued in their defence that the side accounts associated with the insurance policies weren’t intended as investment vehicles and therefore there should have limits on how much money they can accept.

A report from short-seller Muddy Waters after the trial warned Manulife could face  “billions of dollars of losses” if it lost the case. Manulife disagreed with the report, but its shares fell to a 2018 low within days of the Oct. 4 report.

Amendments to Saskatchewan insurance regulations, published Monday, say insurers aren’t allowed to accept deposits in excess of what’s required to pay premiums over the policy’s eligible period.

Manulife reinsuring business, boosting dividend and buying back shares

TORONTO _ Manulife Financial Corp. says it is reinsuring some of its businesses and boosting the company’s quarterly dividend by 14 per cent.

The insurance firm says it has entered into agreements with counterparties to reinsure substantially all of its legacy U.S. individual and group pay-out annuities businesses, and mortality and lapse risk on a portion of its legacy Canadian universal life policies. These transactions are expected to release over $1 billion of capital over the next year.

The dividend payout _ which is coming a quarter earlier than in recent years _ will increase by three cents per share to 25 cents, payable as of Dec. 19 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Nov. 30.

The Toronto-based company also says it has received TSX approval to repurchase up to 40 million of its common shares or about two per cent of the nearly two million shares outstanding.

The announcements were made ahead of Manulife’s release of third-quarter results after markets close next Wednesday.

Manulife’s shares have fallen about 25 per cent from their 52-week high.

The company, which operates mainly as John Hancock in the U.S. and Manulife elsewhere, had more than $1.1 trillion in assets under management and administrations.

Life insurers welcome new rules that limit how much they can accept as deposits

TORONTO _ Two of Canada’s largest life insurance companies welcomed a Saskatchewan government decision that clarifies the rules for a type of insurance policy that’s been the focus of civil suits against them.

Manulife Financial Corp. and IA Financial Group say they expect substantial aspects of the litigation against them will be resolved as a result of the revised provincial regulations.

Institutional investors argued in a Saskatchewan court last month that there shouldn’t be limits on how much they can deposit into side accounts associated with a type of universal insurance policy offered in the 1990s.

Manulife and IA argued in their defence that the side accounts associated with the insurance policies weren’t intended as investment vehicles and therefore there should have limits on how much money they can accept.

A report from short-seller Muddy Waters after the trial warned Manulife could face “billions of dollars of losses” if it lost the case. Manulife disagreed with the report, but its shares fell to a 2018 low within days of the Oct. 4 report.

Amendments to Saskatchewan insurance regulations, published Monday, say insurers aren’t allowed to accept deposits in excess of what’s required to pay premiums over the policy’s eligible period.

France’s AXA sells insurance assets in Ukraine to Canada’s Fairfax

REUTERS

AXA Insurance and AXA Insurance Life will continue to operate and fulfill all their obligations without any changes.

French-based AXA Group, represented in Ukraine by AXA Insurance and AXA Life Insurance, has sold its Ukrainian assets to Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holding Limited. Read also A third of businesses expect Ukraine investment climate to improve – EBA “AXA Group has entered into an agreement with Fairfax Financial Holding Limited (Canada) to sell all its insurance operations in Ukraine. Under the terms of the agreement, Fairfax would acquire a 100% of the non-life entity (AXA Insurance) and the life entity (AXA Life Insurance) in Ukraine,” the company’s press service said on October 23. As reported,

AXA Insurance and AXA Insurance Life will continue to operate and fulfill all their obligations without any changes. “It’s time to make a step forward, which will open up new opportunities for the company and each of its clients. With the new owner, we won’t only keep our leading positions, but also continue to develop the entire Ukrainian insurance market,” the press service added.

The new owner’s headquarters is based in Toronto, Canada, it said, adding that it has been engaged in insurance and investment management since 1985. “The company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (FFH: CN). Its market capitalization is estimated at $15.1 billion. The holding operates in 40 countries across the world,” the report said. UNIAN memo. AXA Insurance, which is the leading insurance company in Ukraine, has been operating since 2007. AXA Insurance started working in the Ukrainian market in July 2013.

 

Michelin, Manulife Financial announce major expansions in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX _ Officials say expansions by two major corporations in Nova Scotia could bring hundreds of new jobs to the province.

In separate announcements Tuesday, the province unveiled rebates for Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. and Manulife Financial Corp.

Manulife says it plans to expand its existing operations in Halifax, adding as many as 600 new jobs over the next five years.

Nova Scotia Business Inc., the province’s business development agency, says Manulife could earn a payroll rebate of up to almost $10 million over five years, but less if it creates fewer than 600 new jobs.

Manulife has added 152 full-time equivalent jobs in Nova Scotia since its first payroll rebate agreement with Nova Scotia Business Inc. in 2014.

Michelin says it has two new projects at its Pictou County site worth $21 million that will add 150 jobs and make another 200 temporary jobs permanent.

Michelin says it will begin production on a new winter tire line, and launch “an innovative process for semi-finished materials.”

“This is amazing news for Michelin in Nova Scotia, as these two projects push Michelin’s employment in Nova Scotia to more than 3,600, the highest levels seen in our almost 50-year history,” Jeff MacLean, president of Michelin North America (Canada), said in a statement.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. says Michelin could earn a maximum rebate of $3.57 million, based on eligible capital spending of $14.3 million on the semi-finished materials process.

“This project reinforces the strength and technical capability of the Michelin Nova Scotia team,” Premier Stephen McNeil said in a statement.

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